Despite its boring name

Welcome to another Sunday playlist. This week, three podcasts made to enhance your enjoyment of museums, galleries, and historic buildings. I really like the way some of these institutions have started using podcasts as a way of expanding on the traditional hold-it-to-your-ear-as-you-go-round audioguide, and some of them are very good listens even if you live thousands of miles away from the place they are discussing and will probably never visit.


Tate: Walks of Art


The famous gallery organisation in London asked a variety of critics to walk around a place and discuss the art that’s associated with it: there aren’t very many episodes yet, but I think more are in the works. I especially enjoyed Bonnie Greer’s ramble around Bloomsbury and her discussion of the legacy of Virginia Woolf’s artist friends.


The Memory Palace at the Met


Nate DiMeo, the creator of this excellent podcast, was an artist in residence at the Met in New York in 2016/7. He made eight exceptional audio pieces inspired by what he found there — they’re quite hard to describe, but I especially enjoyed this one titled “A Scavenger Hunt”.


The National Trust Podcast

Despite its boring name, this is actually a really good and quite relaxing show. The National Trust’s head gardener Alan Power visits gardens around the UK with interesting histories. They have not got their website in good order so individual episodes are hard to link to, but you can find it most mainstream podcatchers by searching. I would start with the one about Sissinghurst.

Bonus podcasts because I found it really hard to limit this list to just three: Museum Archipelago, Museum of Lost Objects, SpyCast.


That’s all for today. If you’re enjoying being a subscriber, do me a favour and tell a friend who might like to become one too (podmail.substack.com/subscribe is the link to share). This whole enterprise relies on your goodwill, for which I’m very grateful. Next week I’m going to be writing about audio fiction, hosting dilemmas and a new personal audio project I’m thinking of starting, so look out for all of that.